Who wouldn’t love a luxurious Caribbean vacation? Taking some time off for some much-needed rest and relaxation is key to your well-being. And a little luxury here and there will ensure that your holiday leaves a lasting impression on the rest of your year. Here are ten ways to make your Caribbean vacation more luxurious!
1. Select the right destination
A run-down hotel with squeaky floorboards doesn’t come close to luxury. Nor do crowded resorts and overbooked restaurants full of screaming kids, no matter how “all-inclusive” they are. The truth, is booking your Caribbean vacation at a “luxury” resort doesn’t necessarily make it luxurious. Whether you get that calm, serene vacation you deserve or not depends mainly on two things: location and crowds.
By choosing the right location for your Caribbean vacation, you can avoid crowds altogether. Why do you think celebrities hit up St. Barthelemy for their secluded vay-cays, instead of the ever popular Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic? Both are beautiful destinations in the Caribbean, but St. Barthelemy is “the path less traveled”.
Here are some of our favorite, less-crowded Caribbean islands:
2. Upgrade your flight
Did you know that you can sometimes get lower prices for first class tickets when you upgrade the day of your flight? If there happen to be spaces available, you could get a good deal. Plus, flying first class is so much better: there’s extra leg room, extra seat room, extra food…so many extras.
In rare cases, you may actually be offered a free upgrade. This will most likely happen on popular, crowded flights during the day. You’re more likely to get the chance to move up if you’re flying solo, and if you’re part of an airline’s frequent flyer or loyalty program. Other reasons why you might be upgraded for free are if a family member separated from his family wants to move to your seat, the passenger beside you bothers you, or your in-flight entertainment screen isn’t working.
3. Skip the hotel, check into a villa
If you’re looking for luxury, don’t book a boring, yawn-worthy room in a chain hotel. Look for a private villa instead, where you can get maximum privacy and amazing ocean views. Villas also give you the option of hosting your entire family, wedding party, or group of friends in one place.
In fact, some luxury Caribbean villas are so huge, they’re like renting a mini mansion. (Check out this adorable 6 bedroom cottage in Barbados to see what we mean). Space equals luxury, so it’s a no-brainer to skip the confining, claustrophobic hotel rooms in favor of rentals that give you room to live and breathe.
4. Pick a place with spa services
The Caribbean is one of the best places on earth to go for spa services. If you pick accomodations with a built-in spa or masseuse, it will be easier than ever to enjoy relaxing treatments like massages, facials, and footbaths. Many islands offer these services right on the beach!
Alternatively, you can add concierge services to your villa reservation. Your concierge can arrange spa and massage services for you.
5. Get a villa with a private pool
Forget the crowded community pool at the resort– enjoy your own pool (and jacuzzi!) at your private villa! Talk about an upgrade. You’ll have it all to yourself, and you won’t have to worry about contaminated, questionable pool water. It’s also the perfect place to relax with friends or that special someone, while you sip wine and watch the sunset.
6. Rent or charter a boat
Anyone can hop on a crowded ferry or catamaran tour in the Caribbean, but it’s so much more luxurious to take a private boat out to sea. If you don’t know how to man one yourself, you can find someone to do it for you (concierge services can help with this). On many Caribbean islands, renting a boat isn’t that expensive. The best part about sailing off to sea is enjoying the sunset and exploring nearby islands. You may even find an uninhabited island and have the beach all to yourself!
7. Take it easy
Living in luxury is all about lounging around and taking your time– so don’t fill your itinerary with too many activities. When you have to rush around from place to place, you’re adding unneeded stress to your life– and isn’t that why you’re taking a vacation in the first place? Don’t give in to temptation to cram as many excursions as possible into your time on the island. Allow time to truly enjoy your surroundings. Stretch out poolside or on the beach under the sun, and let yourself relax. Take a slow walk through town or down the shore and take in the beauty of the scenery around you.
Planning ahead (or letting your concierge do the planning for you) is another way to avoid rushing around and making last-minute plans. (See other planning trips and hacks here.)
8. Indulge in fine dining
One of the best parts of a vacation is not having to cook! But don’t just go anywhere to eat. Check out a restaurant’s reputation on Google reviews or TripAdvisor before you go. And here’s a hint: the best restaurants aren’t always the most expensive ones. So when we say fine dining, we mean the tastiest.
Another way to eat well without having to go grocery shopping or cook is to book a private villa and ask for a stocked fridge. In addition, your concierge can provide private chef services! Or, you can make a meal yourself and set up a table on a secluded part of the beach, or in your villa’s backyard.